- Is ‘Save Spider-Man from Sony’ fueled by pro-Disney bots? 4 Years Ago
- ‘Jawline’ takes a stunning look at influencers and the social media gold rush Today 7:00 AM
- Here’s what’s coming and going on Netflix in September 2019 Today 6:58 AM
- The biggest conspiracy theories around Area 51 Today 6:30 AM
- How to listen to YouTube music in the background on your phone Today 6:00 AM
- Lyft received a whopping 7 sexual assault lawsuits in a day Wednesday 10:00 PM
- High school reopens investigation into Nazi salute video after other racist videos emerge Wednesday 7:14 PM
- Facebook content moderators continue to suffer from brutal working conditions Wednesday 5:58 PM
- #RIPReese: Man bullied for relationship with trans woman dies by suicide Wednesday 4:46 PM
- Redaction error reveals ICE is paying Palantir $49 million Wednesday 4:25 PM
- People are using social media to raise awareness about the Amazon fires Wednesday 4:24 PM
- How to watch ‘Detective Pikachu’ right now Wednesday 3:56 PM
- Walmart is suing Tesla over fires at stores with solar panels Wednesday 3:44 PM
- Jeremy Renner asks nicely for Sony to let Spider-Man back in the MCU Wednesday 2:51 PM
- The best and safest torrenting sites you should be using in 2019 Wednesday 2:47 PM
‘Battle Hymn of the Digital Publisher’: a media epic in verse
This is what they must have meant / When they spoke of ‘shareable content.’
Editor’s note: We have a Gmail filter that sends all poetry submissions to our spam folder, because poetry is stupid. Once we established that “Dave Infante” was not an exotic nom de plume designed to game the system, however, we read the thing, and laughed a little. Now, we encourage you to do the same.
Does the fruit hang low?
How’s it look re: SEO?
Can you roll it up into a list,
So harried readers get the gist?
Will the juice be worth the squeeze?
Can we templatize with ease?
If the partners want a taste,
Can we syndicate with haste?
Is it fish? Is it fowl?
Reddit is the place to prowl.
Serve it up in cool new ways,
And we’ll have traffic spikes for days!
We’re looking for the lowest lift, see?
What can we turn around today?
Embed a ‘Gram and do it swiftly.
Boom! A slick quick traffic play.
Should we tweet it? Should we pin it?
The war is Content, and we are in it.
Mount feigning heds, not one too untoward.
We ride for shareability. Forward! Forward!
Chartbeat needles! Google Analytics!
Words are useless without good pics.
Concurrents! Uniques! Time on site:
Those holy numbers, for which we fight.
Facebook is a firehose.
They want video? So it goes.
Vines combine for fine aggregation!
(Just credit the edit to avoid litigation!)
Our operating budget is near zero.
A freelancer?! No, we need a hero.
Recent grads with dreams of blogging,
Who ask no pay for hours they’re logging.
Find us swell J-school idealists,
Assign them lofty traffic goals.
Watch them turn to jaded realists,
Bottomed out on media’s shoals.
Can’t call ‘em interns—let’s say “fellows”!
Have they seen our office bar?
There’s a celeb – let ‘em say “hellos,”
As long as they don’t offend the star.
Tell them they have “hashtag influence,”
“This website, ripe farmland for your personal brands!”
Hold close the truth, should they turn truants:
They are sharecroppers, mercenaries, hired hands.
Weep for them, for they’ve seen Content,
Scraped, stretched, shaped, and brutally flayed.
They scroll their feeds with bitter resent,
Mouths agape at stories aped and remade.
When the fight grows hard, and the millstones, legion,
Get thee to a literary mag!
Like healing salve to a wounded region,
This is really more your bag.
There you can be a music critic,
Or a thoughtful author of short stories.
Can prestige cure that which made you sick,
Chasing uncatchable traffic glories?
Far from the front, Content seems less a battle;
A slaughter—that’s how it looks from here.
Are there even lines that publishers straddle?
Have we become the hell that we fear?
Unspoken in Slack rooms but widely known,
The secret of our world is thus.
I should say: these opinions are my own,
Not those of my employer, trust.
Clickbait is the thing to hate,
But it’s great, when the date
Is late and uniques you must inflate
Lest the investors debate your fate.
Jest it’s not; test it not; “20 best…” it,
That’s your best shot at
Raking them in,
Making a win
Out of a sin.
Did they click in?
Expand the demand!
Flood the zone!
Build the brand!
Ours, not your own!
Is anyone still reading this? Pardon,
I got a little wound up there,
But if you enjoyed the verse herein,
Won’t you please, to Facebook, share?
Dave Infante is a writer living and working in New York City. Follow him on Twitter: @dinfontay.